A committee comprising of 34-members drawn from various stakeholders has been formed to oversee the implementation of action points that are set to serve as guidelines in the management of security of university students, staff and the community in Juja sub-county.
The action points are derived from the Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee Report on Security Management in Universities, National Polytechnics and Technical Training Institutions Regulations.
The inter-ministerial technical report identifies various pertinent issues that need to be addressed to mitigate the impact of insecurity in institutions of higher learning across the country, noting, “The government is committed to provide a secure, safe and cohesive learning environment as an inevitable precondition to quality education and economic development.”
The issues, categorized and to be handled by the relevant sub committees were presented in a summarized matrix, February 3, 2020, during a meeting to discuss how matters of insecurity can be addressed and “implemented in the best interest of the students, management, host community and other key stakeholders” around JKUAT and Juja sub-county, Kiambu county.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Kiambu County Commissioner, Mr. Wilson Wanyanga and the JKUAT Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Prof. Bernard Ikua, who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi.
The consultative forum is one in a series of meetings to be held, was necessitated by the rising concern regarding incidences of insecurity that have affected JKUAT students, staff and the Juja community over the last couple of months. Similar situations have been reported in other institutions, prompting the government action to seek sustainable interventions.
Those who attended the meeting included; JKUAT Management and security team, student leaders, Commission for University Education, Government and County representatives, National Police Service, Area MP, MCAs, members of the Juja Community including hostels and business owners, religious leaders and other interest groups.
Some of the challenges discussed include, absence of adequate street lighting along most of the routes used by students, especially at night, further raising concerns on the practicality of monitoring the CCTV cameras once installed due to darkness, drugs and substance abuse, terrorism, criminal gangs, security systems and policies.
Sub-county administration noted that efforts to light up Juja area had been hampered by acts of vandalism. However, the County Commissioner said, discussions were underway to address the issue, as the Ministry of Energy was working on the modalities.
Other issues deliberated by the stakeholders included the possibility of establishing a police post in JKUAT, enhancing police patrol vehicles, construction of a perimeter wall around the university, and installation of biometric system for staff and students.
Besides matters Juja, the meeting agreed on the need for the Government through the relevant line ministries to develop a policy on foreign students and staff as a measure towards tackling terrorism and criminal activities which have of late crept into institutions of higher learning.
Moreover, it was suggested that institutions need to integrate their curricula with courses on terrorism and other security related issues and to consider conducting regular security sensitization sessions for students and staff and the host community.
The developed guidelines provide a framework for universities and tertiary institutions to manage occurrence of security related incidences likely to cause loss of life, destruction of property through students’ riots, fire outbreaks and terror attacks, among others factors, thus guaranteeing safe environments for learning and economic development.
Upon successful implementation of the security guidelines at JKUAT and in Juja on a pilot programme, similar initiatives will be rolled out in other learning institutions across the country.